Helen Thomas adds to anti-Semitic remarks

Helen Thomas has made more anti-Semitic comments in a public forum, causing her alma mater to drop an award named for the longtime journalist.

“We are owned by the propagandists against the Arabs. There’s no question about that,” Thomas said Dec. 2 during a speech to an Arab American group in Dearborn, Mich. “Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists. No question in my opinion. They put their money where their mouth is.”

She added, “We’re being pushed into a wrong direction in every way.”

In response, Wayne State University in Detroit, from which Thomas graduated in 1942, announced that it would no longer present the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in the Media Award. The university released a statement reading in part that it “strongly condemns the anti-Semitic remarks made by Helen Thomas.”

In turn, Thomas, 90, told the Detroit Free Press that Wayne State had “made a mockery of the First Amendment” by eradicating the award, and the Detroit-based Congress of Arab American Organizations said that opposing Zionism isn’t anti-Jewish.

Thomas, a Detroit native of Lebanese descent, also said during the speech that she stands by the controversial comments about Israel that led to her resignation as a correspondent for Hearst News Service earlier this year.

Thomas resigned in June after saying on the sidelines of the first Jewish American Heritage Month event at the White House that Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine,” in a video interview.

“Go home,” Thomas said.

Asked to elaborate on where the Jews in Israel should go, Thomas said, “Poland, Germany and America, and everywhere else.”

Thomas, often referred to as the dean of the White House press corps, had been a White House correspondent since the presidency of John F. Kennedy. Her place in the front row during White House news briefings was sacrosanct for years, complete with a plaque on it bearing her name — the only such reserved seat in the room. — jta